I nearly missed this show because I was unintentionally watching some jam festival on Pitt’s campus instead of being at the proper venue at Carnegie Mellon University. Eventually I figured out that I was at the wrong place, and I got to CMU just as Fugazi was taking the stage under a tent in a parking lot. I tried to use my college newspaper press pass to get on stage to shoot, but was denied. So I went to the other side of the stage and walked right up beside Guy Picciotto from where I photographed the entire set. I shot a number of images I liked at that show, but this is the only one that has survived electronically. One day I’ll find those negatives and rescan them. Dischord seems to like this image and has used it in a few places, so that makes me proud. Fugazi is still the best band I’ve ever seen live.
As I mentioned in my recent post about W. Eugene Smith, I love the city of Pittsburgh. I took this image with my phone from a hotel room in Oakland when I was visiting the city. If it wasn’t for the snow, I’d want to live there.
Photographs by W. Eugene Smith / Magnum Photos
There is a long list of photographers who have influenced me and my work, but near the top would be the photo essays of W. Eugene Smith. It’s easy to point to much of Smith’s familiar work (especially for LIFE), but one of his lesser known projects documenting the city of Pittsburgh created some of my favorite of his images. Born and raised just 90 minutes down I-79 from Pittsburgh, it’s the closest major city to my hometown and it holds a special place in my heart. I love these images for capturing what Pittsburgh was at the time that has made the city what it is today — working-class, proud, gritty and beautiful.